Karolina Kuras: National Ballet Photographer
Karolina Kuras is a Toronto-based ballet and portrait photographer. In this piece, we explore her creative collaboration with Canadian National Ballet dancer/choreographer Brent Parolin and Tanya Howard, as well as make-up artist Ashley Readings.
In discussing our approach for the project, we wanted to encapsulate the essence rather than the information. There are many pieces where Karolina is featured as a photographer discussing her work, but we wanted to get underneath the surface, into the intangible matters that drive and inspire her to create and collaborate so intimately.
Many things became clear in conversations with Karolina. First, her awe towards the dancers. She recognizes the discipline it takes to be an athlete and an artist all at once and honouring the dancers and their extreme talent is a deep core value. This made it clear that in making a piece about Karolina, we had to make it about the dancers. They are her muse, her collaborators and her friends and can’t be separated from her.
Karolina is also an artist who would rather speak through her work than through words. As someone who is quite shy yet curious in conversation, completely transforms and commands the stage when she is in her element. She says herself, “It’s like another Karo shows up when I am directing.”
With all this, we ended up with a film that hopefully displays her internal and beautifully tender approach that’s so viscerally connected with her collaborators, into an objective, external view that ultimately takes us on a short journey of a collaborative experience with Karolina Kuras.
This project was captured on 35mm film, with a small crew in Karolina’s home studio over a short, yet fulfilling evening of dancers, filmmakers, photographers and artists at play, enjoying the opportunity to create and collaborate together.
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